New Knebworth parking zones will ‘kill the village’, say businesses

Lucy Lord from Putterills Estate Agent and Jeff Jackson from Jacksons Garage in Milestone Road.

Lucy Lord from Putterills Estate Agent and Jeff Jackson from Jacksons Garage in Milestone Road. - Credit: Archant

Businesses in Knebworth have branded new parking permit zones as short-sighted, with one warning they will kill the village.

Jeff Jackson, who owns a car sales and repair business in London Road, fears the zones which came into effect on Monday will damage his business because North Herts District Council is refusing to issue him with parking permits.

The new regulations impose a ‘two hours no return’ policy to deter commuters from parking in residential side roads.

Jeff said: “When someone drops a car off with us we try and bring it off the road as soon as we can but sometimes it’s not possible.

“Imagine if you left your car with us, and it was on the roadside for too long and you got a £50 fine. You would tell me what to do with my business.”

Knebworth has not had free off-street parking since the Co-op car park started charging in 2012.

The parking regulations apply to Pondcroft Road and Milestone Road – where the company would usually ask customers to park.

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Several years ago Jeff’s business expanded to take on space at Milestone Road, which should make the company eligible for permits.

But because the address is listed as London Road, council officers will not issue any.

The 74-year-old said: “I am panicking. These new rules are going to kill the village stone dead.”

Lucy Lord, a sales negotiator at Putterills estate agents in London Road, says the firm has five full-time staff who all need to park in the village.

She said: “They are thinking more about the shoppers than the shop staff.

“Soon it will be the case that there are shoppers but no shops to go to. It is short-sighted and there doesn’t seem to be any common sense.”

North Herts District Council’s head of development and building control Ian Fullstone said: “The new proposals strike a balance between giving local residents priority for use of on-street parking and improving safety around junctions.

“The scheme seeks to address concerns raised by businesses by allowing two-hour parking for visitors to local businesses.”